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#1 Madam A. D-tor

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 05:17 AM

Dear Forum members.

A collegae of mine is involved in a working group regarding high care and high risk products, as part of the re-write for Issue 6. She asks her worldwide collegeas the following and I think that the forum members on this site, also will have interesting thoughts, ideas and suggestions. Please share your ideas on this forum regarding the following issue.

It seems that the current definitions in the standard and the expectations of the product that this applies to, and the procedures that should be in place differ from country to country and this had led to retailers visiting plants with a Grade A that have not met the requirements of the standard (in their opinion as some of their codes of practice put in products that are not really high risk).

Can you help me out with the following:-
1. What you believe is the meaning of High Care and High Risk?
2. Examples of the main products that are High Care (and why).
3. Examples of the main products that are High Risk (and why)
4. Controls and factory set up that you would expect for High Care (e.g changing rooms, filtered , temp controlled etc.)
5. Controls and factory set up that you would expect for High Risk (e.g changing rooms, filtered , temp controlled etc.)
6. Have you come across many factories that do not meet the requirements of the standard (I’m thinking that this may be picked up in pre-audits as the non-conformances that we raise do not suggest this)

I myself have troubles with the definition in the standard and do not always apply them. E.g. a small factory making ready to eat sandwiched should have a high care room, but this really does not fit the organisation. Only 5 persons working and doing everything by hand.

I am wondering for your explanations and experiences.

Edited by Madam A. D-tor, 22 February 2011 - 05:21 AM.

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#2 Charles.C

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 06:06 AM

Dear madam A.Dtor,

Just a quick question.

I presume you hv already searched this forum since i recall a very similar query being recently posted, albeit in far less detail? Plus i remember doing some research on this for another thread some time back.

Yr post is undoubtedly correct in that the interpretation / terminology varies with all kinds of parameters, eg product/location. I'm afraid this is unavoidable.

Not that I'm discouraging more comments of course. Exactly the opposite. :biggrin:

Rgds / Charles.C

PS - Actually, i didn't realise the current version had definitions ? Too lazy to look. :oops:


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#3 SS2010

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 06:31 AM

Dear madam

As per my understanding

The process which hasnt got killing step,which is ready to eat and stored or retain below 5 degree c.,this product is known as high risk product and the area where it produced is to be considered as a high care area!!!

Ready to eat dessert is high risk product

there is no definition i have seen for high care product though...now m eager to know whats the different between high risk and high care product,My bad:)



Dear Forum members.

A collegae of mine is involved in a working group regarding high care and high risk products, as part of the re-write for Issue 6. She asks her worldwide collegeas the following and I think that the forum members on this site, also will have interesting thoughts, ideas and suggestions. Please share your ideas on this forum regarding the following issue.

It seems that the current definitions in the standard and the expectations of the product that this applies to, and the procedures that should be in place differ from country to country and this had led to retailers visiting plants with a Grade A that have not met the requirements of the standard (in their opinion as some of their codes of practice put in products that are not really high risk).

Can you help me out with the following:-
1. What you believe is the meaning of High Care and High Risk?
2. Examples of the main products that are High Care (and why).
3. Examples of the main products that are High Risk (and why)
4. Controls and factory set up that you would expect for High Care (e.g changing rooms, filtered , temp controlled etc.)
5. Controls and factory set up that you would expect for High Risk (e.g changing rooms, filtered , temp controlled etc.)
6. Have you come across many factories that do not meet the requirements of the standard (I’m thinking that this may be picked up in pre-audits as the non-conformances that we raise do not suggest this)

I myself have troubles with the definition in the standard and do not always apply them. E.g. a small factory making ready to eat sandwiched should have a high care room, but this really does not fit the organisation. Only 5 persons working and doing everything by hand.

I am wondering for your explanations and experiences.

:smile:

Edited by Charles.C, 24 February 2011 - 06:46 AM.
first [quote] has been replaced, frame won't work without it, hint for other posts

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#4 Charles.C

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 08:05 AM

An Australian Viewpoint (ANZFA) -

1.6. Definitions
High risk food:
- food that may contain pathogenic microorganisms and will support formation of toxins or growth of pathogenic microorganisms.
Examples are raw meat, fish, poultry and unpasteurised milk. Other examples include tofu, fresh filled pasta, meat pies, frankfurts, salami, cooked rice and lasagne (these foods pose a particularly high risk if they are not processed or cooked adequately).
Medium risk food:
- food that may contain pathogenic microorganisms but will not normally support their growth due to food characteristics; or
- food that is unlikely to contain pathogenic microorganisms due to food type or processing but may support formation of toxins or growth of pathogenic microorganisms.
Examples are fruits and vegetables, orange juice, canned meats, pasteurised milk, dairy products, ice cream, peanut butter and milk based confectionery.
Low risk food:
- food that is unlikely to contain pathogenic microorganisms and will not normally support their growth due to food characteristics.
Examples are grains and cereals, bread, carbonated beverages, sugar-based confectionery, alcohol and fats and oils.

Viewpoint of Ambervalley, UK

High Risk Foods

High risk foods are foods which:

• will support the growth of food poisoning bacteria (or the formation of toxins)

AND which –

• are ready to eat, or have gone through most, if not all, steps in their preparation which
might control such hazards.


Foods such as – sandwiches, pizzas, salads, hot meals.
Cooked products – containing meat, fish, cheese etc.
Cooked products (for reheating) – pies, ready made meals, etc.
Smoked or cured meats.
Smoked or cured fish.
Dairy based desserts.
Ripened soft or moulded cheese – e.g. Brie, Danish Blue, etc.
Some types of prepared vegetable salads – including those containing fruit.
Foods labelled/described as needing to be kept at a specific temperature.
Foods bearing a use-by date.

Rgds / Charles.C


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#5 GMO

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 09:29 AM

1. I think you mean what is high risk and high care processing? In which case I disagree with the PP, it's definitely not raw meat.


High risk = RTE or ready to reaheat products which are fully cooked into the high risk area (raw meats would be kept in a low risk area)


High care = RTE or ready to reheat products which aren't fully cooked into the high care area but may undergo something like raw vegetable washing. I think there is a belief that high care is a lower category; in fact I think it's the opposite. There are more likely to be issues with for example Listeria in a high care factory.


2. High care = sandwiches, salads, ready meals containing raw leaf


3. High risk = fully cooked ready meals, pies, cooked hams etc.


4-6. For both high risk and high care I would expect a dedicated changing room where dedicated clothing including footwear are changed with a full gowning procedure including washing hands prior to handling the coat and prior to entering the area, filtered air with +ve air pressure from the high care or risk area to low. Dedicated equipment. Exclusion of foreign body risks e.g. cardboard and wood, frequent wet cleaning, walls and floors which are cleanable. Good falls to drains. Thorough environmental swabbing schedule. Only differences for me is veg washing would be permitted as a possible entrance to high care and some items may not be washed or sanitised into high care at all where they can't be (e.g. bread).


This is all from personal experience that veg washers (even containing chlorine) are not all that good at getting rid of pathogens. They're ok but they're not perfect so you want to limit the pathogen contamination of the vegetables by not having things even in your low care area to make the loading worse.


Therefore IMO, raw meat should not be permitted in a "high care" factory as veg washing will not fully control the risks if there was cross contamination, however, I know it goes on in some ready meal high care sites...

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#6 Dr Ajay Shah

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 12:08 PM

Dear Forum members.

A collegae of mine is involved in a working group regarding high care and high risk products, as part of the re-write for Issue 6. She asks her worldwide collegeas the following and I think that the forum members on this site, also will have interesting thoughts, ideas and suggestions. Please share your ideas on this forum regarding the following issue.

It seems that the current definitions in the standard and the expectations of the product that this applies to, and the procedures that should be in place differ from country to country and this had led to retailers visiting plants with a Grade A that have not met the requirements of the standard (in their opinion as some of their codes of practice put in products that are not really high risk).

Can you help me out with the following:-
1. What you believe is the meaning of High Care and High Risk?
2. Examples of the main products that are High Care (and why).
3. Examples of the main products that are High Risk (and why)
4. Controls and factory set up that you would expect for High Care (e.g changing rooms, filtered , temp controlled etc.)
5. Controls and factory set up that you would expect for High Risk (e.g changing rooms, filtered , temp controlled etc.)
6. Have you come across many factories that do not meet the requirements of the standard (I’m thinking that this may be picked up in pre-audits as the non-conformances that we raise do not suggest this)

I myself have troubles with the definition in the standard and do not always apply them. E.g. a small factory making ready to eat sandwiched should have a high care room, but this really does not fit the organisation. Only 5 persons working and doing everything by hand.

I am wondering for your explanations and experiences.


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Dr Ajay Shah.,
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Managing Director & Principal Consultant
AAS Food Technology Pty Ltd
www.aasfood.com


#7 Dr Ajay Shah

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 12:13 PM

I agree with the comments made by GMO which are all valid except that one can use Peroxyacetic acid and Hydrogen Peroxide Mixture (Ecolab Tsunmai 100) to sanitise the leafy vegetables at 70 - 90 ppm instead of the chlorine wash and this has been proven to get rid of pathogens provided that the vegetables are immersed in the sanitised water for 1 - 2 minutes residence time.


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www.aasfood.com


#8 Madam A. D-tor

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 12:17 PM

I presume you hv already searched this forum since i recall a very similar query being recently posted, albeit in far less detail? Plus i remember doing some research on this for another thread some time back.


I am sorry, Charles. I did not.
I was just hurried to start this discussion.

PS - Actually, i didn't realise the current version had definitions ? Too lazy to look. :oops:

The actual definitions of the BRC (version 5):
High care area: an area designed to a high standard where practices relating to personnel, ingredients, equipment, packaging and environment aim to minimise product contamination by pathogenic micro organisms.
High-risk area: A physically segregated area, designed to a high standard of hygiene, where practices relating to personnel, ingredients, equipment, packaging and environment aim to prevent product contamination by pathogenic micro-organisms.
High-risk product: chilled ready to eat/heat product or food where there is a high risk of growth from pathogenic micro organism.

The goal of this working group is IMO to review/reset this definitions. For the high risk product, for example, I think that the word 'or' should be changed in 'and'. According the definition above fresh cut vegetables used to get cooked are high risk product.


The process which hasnt got killing step,which is ready to eat and stored or retain below 5 degree c.,this product is known as high risk product and the area where it produced is to be considered as a high care area!!!

Ready to eat dessert is high risk product

...but, ready to eat desserts do have a heating process. Isn't this a killing step.
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#9 Madam A. D-tor

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 12:19 PM

I agree with the comments made by GMO which are all valid except that one can use Peroxyacetic acid and Hydrogen Peroxide Mixture (Ecolab Tsunmai 100) to sanitise the leafy vegetables at 70 - 90 ppm instead of the chlorine wash and this has been proven to get rid of pathogens provided that the vegetables are immersed in the sanitised water for 1 - 2 minutes residence time.


That is nice. however in some countries (e.g. the Netherlands) it is not allowed to use any chemicals in the washing water.
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#10 GMO

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 01:00 PM

I agree with the comments made by GMO which are all valid except that one can use Peroxyacetic acid and Hydrogen Peroxide Mixture (Ecolab Tsunmai 100) to sanitise the leafy vegetables at 70 - 90 ppm instead of the chlorine wash and this has been proven to get rid of pathogens provided that the vegetables are immersed in the sanitised water for 1 - 2 minutes residence time.


Cool. Only problem with most veg washers I've seen is no way is it 1-2 minutes. I'm not sure I'd trust it if lettuce and raw chicken were in the same area if this was the only control. Certainly that seems to be the way the retailers want it as they don't normally allow raw meat in sandwich factories.

Sorry, I don't understand what you mean; "According the definition above fresh cut vegetables used to get cooked are high risk product." I'm talking about raw veg used raw not cooked. I was meaning these products would be made in a high care area not a high risk one. It's interesting the current version 5 standard gives no guidance as to when each should be used.


If you change the "or" to "and" it would preclude any products which were not chilled. I don't know if that's a problem. Worth thinking about perhaps?
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#11 GMO

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 01:02 PM

Ha! I've just thought of an unchilled high risk product! We're back to the ambient sausage roll....!


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#12 redchariot

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 06:58 PM

In my experience, frozen ready to eat foods (just need to be microwaved) are High Care while chilled ready to eat foods are High Risk.

This is because chilled foods allow any bacteria which contaminates product during processing to multiply while in the case of frozen foods, there is little or no multiplication of contaminating bacteria when properly frozen.


Edited by redchariot, 22 February 2011 - 06:59 PM.

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#13 Ken

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 08:42 PM

In my experience, frozen ready to eat foods (just need to be microwaved) are High Care while chilled ready to eat foods are High Risk.

This is because chilled foods allow any bacteria which contaminates product during processing to multiply while in the case of frozen foods, there is little or no multiplication of contaminating bacteria when properly frozen.



I would like to add to this and give another example - a pre-portioned cheese cake or similar product . If it is manufatured as a frozen product and thawed immediately before service it would be considered a high care product as whilst it can support growth, it will not, as the product will be at -18C during storage and distribution and each piece thawed immediately before service.

If you store and distribute the same product as chilled it would be a high risk product as there would also be the potential for microbiological growth, in particular Listeria, during storage and distribution. There is also an increased potential for spoilage from yeasts and mould and so a high risk environment including filtered air would be sensible. In practice, it may only be the filtered air and positive pressure in the high risk area which is different.

In this case a definition of a High-risk product would be: a ready to eat product where there is a high risk of growth from pathogenic micro organism during storage and distribution.

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#14 Madam A. D-tor

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 10:24 PM

Sorry, I don't understand what you mean; "According the definition above fresh cut vegetables used to get cooked are high risk product."

The definition is: High-risk product: chilled ready to eat/heat product or food where there is a high risk of growth from pathogenic micro organism.
So if I understand it correct, a high risk product is either a chilled ready to eat/heat product or a product where is a high risk of pathogenic growth.
Ready to cook vegetables (cut, washed and packed in (MAP) bags) are chilled reaty to heat products. IMO this is no high risk product. Meat is a product with high risk of pathogenic growth, but then again is no high risk product IMO.

High risk?Attached File  getimageThumb2.jpg   18.52KB   10 downloads

If you change the "or" to "and" it would preclude any products which were not chilled. I don't know if that's a problem. Worth thinking about perhaps?

If the definition is changed in chilled ready to eat/heat product and food where there is a high risk of growth from pathogenic micro organism. The product needs to have both parameters to be a high risk product. For example ready to cook meals including meat and vegetables.
High risk?Attached File  stoom.jpg   3.88KB   12 downloads

Ha! I've just thought of an unchilled high risk product! We're back to the ambient sausage roll....!

Why is this high risk? It is ambient stable, isn't it?
High risk?Attached File  SausageRoll.jpg   72.73KB   9 downloads
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#15 Charles.C

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 12:57 AM

Dear Madam A.Dtor,

As you can see, one basic difficulty is simply that specifying what characterises a "high risk" product is a subjective decision. Just like haccp risk analysis :smile: . I suspect that may be the reason why BRC left their definitions somewhat vague. And same comment for the other 2 definitions.

(Paraphrasing an old English saying-
Confusion at site, auditor's delight) :smarty:

I wonder if it might not be easier to list the (consensus) intended "high risk" product categories then fit the definition to them ?

Rgds / Charles.C


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#16 GMO

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 07:38 AM

The local EHO disagrees but I would say a sausage roll is not ambient stable. You wouldn't say it's wise to store cooked sausages at room temperature would you? So why is ok when they're in pastry? Why would cooked ham not be ok? They argue the maximum 24 hour life controls the risks but in my view they're ignoring consumer misuse.


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#17 GMO

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 08:03 AM

I recommend your friend has a look at best oractice guidelines for the production of chilled food from the CFA, for me this is the definitive text on high risk and gives a brilliant table at the back on how to control in high risk and high care factories. Seeing as I've given them a big plug, I hope they won't mind if I post this one (excellent) table which sums it all up for me.

Grrr! How do I attach documents that aren't a link?????

It's avaiilable on amazon for around 100 quid but it is a good book. amazon


Edited by GMO, 23 February 2011 - 08:06 AM.

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#18 Charles.C

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 02:25 PM

Dear GMO,

Grrr! How do I attach documents that aren't a link?????

Not quite sure what you mean. Should be easy but sometimes isn't for various random reasons.

> main page > 1st forum > "Help topics" > "posting" on menu list > (long way down) "attachments"

ie Attached File  Attachments.png   22.91KB   15 downloads

Rgds / Charles.C

added - PS if you mean have no way to generate a document from text, look for freeware capture programs, there are many "snapping" ones available, eg Easycapture, FS capture (old versions)
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#19 GMO

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 05:24 PM

D'oh! Thank you.

Anyhoo, as I was saying...

Attached File  cfa001.jpg   723.47KB   70 downloads

There is then a table with each type of manufacture and what is needed. Sure it's 5 years old but IMO it stands up.


Edited by GMO, 23 February 2011 - 05:27 PM.

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#20 jaredkkrischel

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 07:19 PM

There are some very good explanations of high risk products and high care areas here. I haven't seen anything about cookies though. Do you think the production of coookies should be high care? Are cookies a high risk product?


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#21 Madam A. D-tor

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 07:56 PM

There are some very good explanations of high risk products and high care areas here. I haven't seen anything about cookies though. Do you think the production of coookies should be high care? Are cookies a high risk product?


Hello Jaredkkrischel,

I am not qualified for bakery products, but I would say that cookies are definitely not high risk/high care products. Due to the low Aw, pathogenic growth is not possible.

The local EHO disagrees but I would say a sausage roll is not ambient stable. You wouldn't say it's wise to store cooked sausages at room temperature would you? So why is ok when they're in pastry? Why would cooked ham not be ok? They argue the maximum 24 hour life controls the risks but in my view they're ignoring consumer misuse.


Hello GMO,

I think low Aw is also the reason why sausage rolls are ambient stable.
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#22 GMO

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 08:42 PM

I think low Aw is also the reason why sausage rolls are ambient stable.


I just did a search on Asda online and all of their sausage rolls are chilled or frozen. I don't think retailers would do that generally unless it was necessary. It's only co-op which doesn't.

Personally I don't know the Aw but I doubt it's low. In fact with all the filler / rusk in your average sausage roll meat, it's probably hanging onto more water than fresh meat.

Anyhoo. Posted Image

Was the chart helpful Madam?
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#23 Jules

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 09:24 PM

High risk foods are those which are ready to eat and are likely to be high in protein and may readily support the growth of pathogens or production of their toxins.

High risk foods will not be further treated by the consumer to reduce the bacterial loading, they will not be cooked further.

High risk foods will be produced in a high risk food preparation environment which will typically have a dedicated changing facility, double hand wash procedure, specifically trained personnel, positive air pressure, filtered air, temperature controlled preparation area (<12°C). High risk foods will be packed within this area so as to prevent further opportunity for contamination.

Examples of high risk foods would be ham or other cooked meats - but not fermented meats; sandwiches, salads, cheese, dairy deserts etc.

Low risk foods are those that will be further treated by the consumer. Raw meat, cured but uncooked meat such as bacon and sausages.

The problem with using a term such as high care food (semantics) is that one gets the odd person discussing low care food (GOOD GRIEF!).

We also need to keep DEFRA aware of the specific terminology used within the industry as they are wont to use the term high risk product for those foods that are becoming an emerging risk to public health.

Products which are ready to re-heat will already have had some heat treatment presumably at least a pasteurization process and could therefore be described as high risk as they should have been through the appropriate production processing area as described above. Washed vegetables which will be cooked are not high risk. Washed vegetables ready to eat raw are high risk.

Discuss..........


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#24 Charles.C

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 06:39 AM

Dear Madam A.D-tor,

Despite the various OT's (or perhaps because of them :smile: ) I find this thread extremely interesting ( :thumbup: ) in that it (so far) seems to demonstrate the lack of any precise, comprehensive, reference source for what one would think to be a highly critical topic. Somehow i believe this deficiency is already well-addressed in some textbooks (somewhere)or even in official pronunciations (somewhere). However this is not to say uniformity is necessarily achievable, for example no-one (i think) has yet mentioned the use of the popular concept of "potentially hazardous foods" (discussed elsewhere on this forum). And how about the Tesco innovation (borrowed?) of defining another over-riding classification scheme which relates to whether items are exposed to contamination or otherwise (eg see the Tesco standard available this forum).

Project-wise, i am curious how the existing BRC definitions were achieved / validated.?

IMO, re:project-wise on-going, it is probably going to be initially necessary to -

1. collate the available existing knowledge. (Yes, i know it's obvious but .... :smile:

2. initially separate items like product, area, factory if you are seeking a logical use of high risk etc since they are all mixed up in many sources as far as I can see. Or possibly even use a combined product-process definition as in my earlier post (2nd example)

3. select the level of technical input included in any definition, eg include parameters like Aw or not, include product + . This may well require 2 versions , high/low tech (the former in reserve perhaps) ?

4. supply refs if they exist (not to discourage personal opinions but assist a [frequent] primary objective of "consensus" validation).

5. supply the list of relevant foods. And why H, M, L. Again a high/low tech. dilemma.

As a further comment on some recent posts, here is an extract from what seems to me to be a very nice (official) document. The latter is titled to be oriented for bakeries but is actually a generalised, condensed, FS system (probably one version of the UK reference SFBB [Safer Food Better Business] set-up).

Deliveries

It is important to check that food delivered to you is in good condition and has been handled safely. To make sure food is safe to eat you need to make sure that:
- it is within its ‘Use by’ date.
- the packaging is not damaged.
- it has been kept cold enough (where appropriate).
- it is in a good condition.
- foods are stored properly.

You should be checking the following foods when you receive them:

‘High Risk’ foods
High risk foods are usually high in protein, and can be eaten without further cooking.
Bacteria like to grow on them, so they are always stored under refrigerated/frozen conditions. These should be delivered to you chilled or frozen.

Examples of ‘High Risk’ Foods
- Cooked meats, cooked fish/shellfish, cooked poultry.
- Cooked meat products, e.g. sausage rolls, pies, ready made sandwiches.
- Mayonnaise based salads, e.g. rice salad, dips, coleslaw.
- Cooked egg/egg dishes and products made from eggs, e.g. quiches.
- Cream and cream products
- Gelatin

Your target temperature for chilled deliveries of high risk foods should be below 5degC but you could allow a tolerance of two or three degrees. For example you may decide that you will reject deliveries if they arrive warmer than 7degC, or simply feel too warm. (Your delivery driver should give you a temperature readout from the van, or write the delivery temperature on your delivery note.) If he is unable to do this you should do a between the packs check with your probe thermometer.

For frozen foods you may decide to reject food if it is warmer than -12degC. Alternatively, you can check to see if frozen food is solid by handling. If it is very hard it will be safe.


Attached File  FS system for bakeries.pdf   541.96KB   60 downloads

I hope the contributions keep coming in, maybe it will be possible to compose a "winner". :smile:

Rgds / Charles.C

PS - note the sausage rolls :smile: :sofa_bricks:
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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#25 Jules

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 07:17 AM

So on the high tech side for high risk (my preferred term) we would also include physical parameters such as :

Water activity less than ----- and / or

pH less than ----- and / or

Cooked to 72°C and held for 10 minutes or cooked to a specified higher temperature

these would be similar to the "hurdles" such that we go through for shelf life and listeria and would probably be directed toward our "bacteria of concern" (so we are back obviously to HACCP).

I had a look at the bakery thread above and can find nothing on there that I would want to change or adapt. Fine as far as I am concerned. So we also need to look at the chill temperatures, 5°C is fine for me as a maximum for high risk; 7°C for fresh meat which is definitely low risk and will undergo other treatment such as cooking to reduce the bacterial loading.


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Kind Regards

Julie

Measure with a micrometer, mark with a pencil, cut with an axe!


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